Cannabis conspiracy is a specific type of drug crime under the Illinois Criminal Code. In addition to committing a separate cannabis drug crime, this offense also requires the participation of multiple people and a minimum amount of compensation received. Accordingly, cannabis conspiracy carries severe criminal consequences at the felony level.
What are the Illinois Laws Against Cannabis Conspiracy?
The Illinois laws against cannabis conspiracy appear at 720 ILCS 550/9. Under this section, it is unlawful for two or more people to conspire to commit any of the following cannabis-related offenses:
- Unlawful possession of 100 to 500 grams of cannabis, in violation of 720 ILCS 550/4(d);
- Unlawful possession of 500 to 2,000 grams of cannabis, in violation of 720 ILCS 550/4(e);
- Unlawful delivery of 30 to 500 grams of cannabis, in violation of 720 ILCS 550/5(d);
- Unlawful delivery of 500 to 2,000 grams of cannabis, in violation of 720 ILCS 550/5(e);
- Unlawful production of 20 to 50 cannabis plants, in violation of 720 ILCS 550/8(c); or
- Unlawful production of 50 to 200 cannabis plants, in violation of 720 ILCS 550/8(d).
In addition, Section 9 requires the offenders to obtain at least $500 for organizing, directing, or financing a cannabis conspiracy.
How Does Illinois Punish Cannabis Conspiracy?
The Illinois punishment for cannabis conspiracy also appears under Section 9. At a minimum, cannabis conspiracy is normally charged as a Class 3 felony. If convicted, the punishment can include criminal fines up to $200,000 and a prison sentence between two and five years.
That being said, repeat offenders can face a more severe charge. In these situations, cannabis conspiracy is typically charged as a Class 1 felony. If convicted, the punishment can include criminal fines up to $200,000 and a prison sentence between four and 15 years.
For the purposes of Section 9, a repeat offender is someone with a previous conviction for:
- Cannabis conspiracy;
- Unlawful possession of cannabis;
- Unlawful delivery of cannabis;
- Unlawful production of cannabis; or
- Other U.S. state or federal laws relating to cannabis or controlled substances.
Does Illinois Include Civil Forfeiture for Cannabis Conspiracy?
In short, yes, Illinois does include civil forfeiture as a consequence of cannabis conspiracy crimes. Under Section 9, any person who commits cannabis conspiracy must forfeit any:
- Receipts obtained through the conspiracy; and
- Property, rights, or interests relating to the conspiracy.
Do You Need Legal Help?
No matter what the criminal offense, all charges are serious. A sound strategy and an aggressive defense are essential for a positive outcome. To protect your rights in such situations, it is highly advisable to retain legal counsel from an experienced criminal defense attorney.
The Prior Law Firm in Bloomington, Illinois, has proven experience in matters of criminal defense. If you need legal help with criminal defense, contact us today for a free consultation. You can reach The Prior Law Firm by phone at (309) 827-4300, email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by completing an online form.